Just got off the phone with Nashville general manager David Poile, and one of the topics we discussed was the retirement of Olie Kolzig. Before joining the Predators, Poile was GM of the Caps for 15 seasons and he the man who drafted Kolzig in the first round of the 1989 draft.
“It is the only time I remember a team taking goalies with their first two picks, and it certainly worked out,” said Poile, who pegged Kolzig and Byron Dafoe with the 19th and 35th selections. “Both guys became very good NHL goaltenders.”
Kolzig re-wrote the Caps record book for netminders and is clearly one of the defining players and personalities in the franchise’s nearly four decades of exsistence.
“The thing I will always remember about Olie was his intensity and fire,” Poile said. “I think he could have played forward with his competitiveness and desire. I almost wish goalies got into more fights, because I think he would have been really good at it.”
Kolzig had said when he was still with the Caps that he planned on moving to Washington (the state) permanently once he retired. He is a co-owner of the Tri-City Americans in the WHL, and he intended to take a more active role with the club.
But he has also raved about his time in Tampa. His family has adjusted well to living there, and his son Carson has particularly taken to the school he attends and the weather. Wherever his family ultimately ends up, expect Kolzig to still have some role in hockey.
And everyone can officially start counting down to “Olie the Goalie” Night at Verizon Center when his No. 37 sweater will be placed in the rafters.
“Having a good goalie for a long time is a great thing and brings so much stability to your club,” Poile said. “He was a big reason why the Caps were able to stay good for so many years.”